Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership

Child exploitation

What is child exploitation?

A child or young person can be groomed or coerced into an exploitative situation. This could be in the form of sexual exploitation or criminal exploitation.

Exploitative relationships are characterised by an imbalance of power. The use of controlling behaviours are used to keep the child or young person in a dependent position.

Child Exploitation Screening Tool

Professionals should complete a Multi-Agency Child Exploitation Screening Tool if you are concerned that a child is being sexually or criminally exploited.

The tool is designed to be completed by any professional who has knowledge regarding:

  • a potential victim
  • a person of concern
  • a location of concern

Always complete the form with the child or young person if they could be a victim of exploitation unless it is not safe to do so. 

Weekly MACE

The weekly MACE meeting draws together information from different partner agencies to explore the options available for tackling child exploitation in the community.  

All submitted forms are reviewed at the MACE pre-screening meeting.  This meeting ensures:

  • all relevant information is shared with partner agencies
  • advice and guidance is provided to the professional regarding next steps
  • confirmation if there is an identified need to be discussed further at weekly MACE

Strategic MACE

The key purpose of the Strategic MACE is to provide an overview of child exploitation in Lincolnshire.

Partnership Information Report

Please complete a Partnership Information Report if:

  • you are a member of a partner agency, and
  • have information that you believe is relevant to assist the police

We have a multi-agency system of sharing information with Lincolnshire Police. It helps to support vulnerable children and adults. This is known locally as Operation Insignia.

A Partnership Information Report should only be used when there is no clear route to inform the police of the information.  Your information will help form a picture around the situation. It may allow the police to take further action in investigating an issue.

This could include but is not limited to information that is indicating:

  • child exploitation (criminal and sexual)
  • human trafficking
  • modern slavery
  • county lines
  • cuckooing
  • knife crime

Please note: if you wish to report a crime or you require prompt attention, ring 101 or 999, or report the crime on the police website.

Complete a Partnership Information Report

The report should be for matters at a lower level than you would notify the police by ringing 999 or 101, but still important to share.

Once received Lincolnshire Police will grade the information based on reliability, accuracy and origin. This process will take time.

A Partnership information Report is not to answer current safeguarding concerns or matters of urgency.  The form is not a means to ensure safeguarding actions.

If the form is about significant harm to a child or vulnerable adult, normal safeguarding procedures apply.  Never assume someone else has passed on the information you have.


The LSCP provides an e-learning module: Child Exploitation. It is designed to improve awareness. 

The LSCP recommends all agencies make the e-learning module mandatory for staff. Especially those who come into contact with children and young people.

Access e-learning


The LSCP recommends the following principles when using child exploitation resources with children and young people:

  • make sure resources are appropriate to the child or young person’s emotional needs and experience
  • familiarise yourself with the young child or young person’s environment before using resources
  • avoid materials, particularly films, which use harrowing examples and depictions to shock young people
  • avoid resources that erase the actions of the offender/perpetrator or teach children that the decisions they made led to them being abused